While Super Dragonball Z is a worthy game to add to your DBZ game collection and is a blast to play, don't come into it expecting it to have that hyperkinetic flash and energy of other DBZ games(like the Budokai series)or it being a serious technical fighter(like Tekken, Dead or Alive, or Virtua Fighter) because it isn't either one. What it is, however, is a traditional fighting game that feels old school yet new school all at the same time.
Watching the intro to Super Dragonball Z, you can tell a new take is being made on the DBZ universe. Upon playing the game, you realize that a more serious approach has been taken to the battles between our beloved characters from the classic anime series. Characters(18 in all) are placed in free-roaming, destructible sandbox levels(kinda like those in Power Stone)to battle it out. In my honest opinion, I think this form of engine better suits DBZ. It adds alot more strategically to the game. Course, it's good to see Atari having developers come out with new ways to play DBZ. If you want to get the most out of the game, though, you'll first want to create your own character card. There- you'll pick a character from one of the 18 presented, give it a custom name, and choose from a few sets of color palettes. Every time you finish a fight, you're awarded battle points. Getting enough battle points will give you access to a skill tree, where you can customize certain character properties and assign new moves to your character. Playing through the original arcade mode, as well as the survival mode, can get you Dragon Balls. Once you collect all seven Dragon Balls on your character card, you can summon the dragon Shenron, who will grant you a wish, which can range from giving you an additional color palette for your character to unlocking a whole new character. This addition is more than enough reason to keep coming back & playing.
The two biggest gripes I have with Super Dragonball Z is the character list to choose from for battle is just too small and there isn't any story to speak of, just fighting.
Beyond that, Super Dragonball Z does make a good first impression. I hope this isn't the last we see of it.